Side note: I almost cried writing this lol. It's pretty long and it seriously broke my heart, but hopefully the length and substance of this chapter makes up for the last one. The author's note will be at the end :)
14. What Goes Around…Comes Around
"Don't want to think about it. Don't want to talk about it. I'm just so sick about it. Can't believe it's ending this way…When you cheated, girl. My heart bleeded, girl. So it goes without saying that you left me feeling hurt. Just a classic case scenario. Tale as old as time. Girl, you got what you deserved." – Justin Timberlake
Disclaimer: I don't own the song or the characters ;)
The next, dreary day, Raven felt like Chicken Little as the sky seemed to be falling and crumbling into various pieces on the ground. The storm from the fateful night before had returned but this time tenfold. The thunder roared and the lightning looked as if it cracked the sky like shattering glass with each flash.
However, this time Raven didn't even have the energy to jump or be scared of the loud vibrations. She was lying sideways on the same red couch her and Robin had been watching the pouring yet calming rain on just hours before. After leaving his side at the hospital in the wee hours of the night, she drove around the city allowing the tears she'd been holding back all day to finally fall from her eyes. She had almost wrecked her car on numerous occasions due to her eyesight being blurred with salty water and her mind on all that had happened. At one point she was even sure that she was nowhere near Steel City anymore, but somehow someway she ended up outside the hospital once more.
She sat in her car for virtually hours near the emergency room entrance contemplating whether or not she should go back in and not move from the ebony-haired boy's side for a second just to show him her feelings and thoughts from the night before hadn't changed. The moment she stepped over the threshold of his room door, she wanted to spin around and tell him how much she needed him. But the deed was done. She'd already gotten him upset, and with what he'd just gone through, he didn't need any added on stress.
After dwelling on the short, tense moment they shared, she realized she shouldn't have mentioned forgiving Speedy so soon. The boy had just survived a bullet to the back which could've gone so many other ways. He was hurt as well and truly just happy to be alive. She realized it had been years since a moment between them was solely about him. She always found a way to make Speedy part of it, and she was sure it broke his heart every time.
And instead of showing him how distraught and frightened she was of losing him. Instead of proving to him just how much she really did love him, she showed just how much she cared about Speedy and how worried she was about him being in prison for a crime he chose to commit. What was her problem? She didn't know but it had been all she could think about.
Eventually, she made it back home and fell straight onto the couch. That was around seven that morning. Now, it was one in the afternoon and she had only moved twice to pee and fix herself coffee of all things. She couldn't sleep with everything that had happened, especially not in their blood-covered sheets.
As she sat down and sipped slowly on the beverage, she realized she had made Robin's old signature mixture of flavors. She had pretty much done it subconsciously and couldn't help but smirk at the image of Robin saying that was a sign that him and her were really meant to be. He had said something similar the first day he admitted his love for her simply because they had been drinking their signature drinks that they usually got together at the café at the same, exact random time.
Back then, she just thought he was being crazy but maybe what he was saying had some sense to it. In her head, everything in life could be predictable if you just paid attention to the forewarning signs. And maybe little things like that were hints about what would be her future reality.
She could basically picture herself stretching and yawning in a soft but firm, queen-sized bed as the morning sunlight highlighted her face after a long, pleasant sleep. She'd walk into the kitchen next to find Robin smirking and shirtless—because his shirt would be on her-attempting to make breakfast with an already hot and brewed batch of fresh black coffee with a dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon of coconut milk stirred smoothly into it. She'd grab a mug, then he'd grab his second one for the morning, and they'd talk about their good and bad dreams and plans for the day as the bacon burned to a crisp due to Robin's horrible cooking skills. It'd be a typical but perfect day for them.
'What am I doing just sitting here? He needs me,' she finally thought to herself as another crack of thunder vibrated the sky. She slammed the mug on the glass surface of the table and eased her way to the back to shower and change into fresh clothes.
When she reached the doorway of their bedroom, her heart and feet came to a halt. She realized she hadn't been in there since the night before which meant the brass shell casing from Roy's shot was somewhere on the ground, Robin's blood was still splattered everywhere and in clunks on their sheets, and memories of the quick, horrible moment would come flooding back to her.
But she had to be strong. She couldn't let this situation tear her down or she might never come back from it. So, she twisted the door knob, forcing herself into the room. The rancid stench of death and fear instantly filled her unprepared nostrils. She felt bile rise in her throat as she looked over to see Robin's deep red, dried, hardened blood on the usually stark white sheets of their bed. A part of her wanted to turn around and never return, but she had to get it together. She needed to shower so that she could get to Robin, and maybe even somehow, Speedy.
"Knock, knock," Raven whispered as she entered Robin's new room in the ICU. It was much more luxurious with it's spotless, wooden floor, blue and cream colored walls, black futon for the guests, LED television, and view of the Steel City bay.
Unsurprisingly, Robin was reclined back on a plethora of soft, white pillows flipping through a huge wad of papers and files. Raven assumed he had become obsessed with the Red X drama again in order to take his mind off everything else that had taken place. His work ethic and determination was something that always kept him going in life.
For a second, he hadn't looked up at Raven because he was so into the paperwork and was honestly just scared of how today's conversation would go. When he finally did, he couldn't help but allow a small smile to grace his thin lips. Despite what had gone down the last time he saw her, he was always happy to be in her presence.
"Hey, Rae," he breathed softly. Even though he'd been in bed for hours, he still didn't have much energy to give or use. The gunshot had taken a lot out of him.
Raven's long eyelashes fluttered towards the ground while her cheeks flushed scarlet red. She didn't know when was the last time she'd been bashful around the young man, but it almost felt good to experience. She was experiencing the same butterflies she'd felt as a fifteen-year-old when she first realized she had a crush on him. Nothing could compare to the feeling of falling in love, especially with your best friend and soulmate.
"I brought you this," she whispered as she made her way over to the side of his cot. In her hands was a warm, travel mug. She handed it to the injured boy and he took it with caution, remembering the horrifying time she made breakfast for him. He wasn't even sure if he could call what she had cooked food.
He slowly took a sip and was taken aback by the shockingly wonderful flavor of the beverage that warmed his tongue. "Black coffee with coconut milk and a hint of cinnamon. My favorite," he muttered with a boyish smirk finding the corner of his mouth. "How'd you remember?"
Raven rolled her eyeballs to the back of her head and crossed her arms over her slippery, wet raincoat. "You ordered it every Tuesday at the café for four years. Why wouldn't I remember?"
Robin raised a snarky finger before taking another large gulp, "I believe you meant to say because I'm your best friend, Robin."
Raven shook her head at his silly antics with a hint of contentment in her violet eyes. He just chuckled softly in reply.
"Hey," the former quiet girl started as she eased her fingers towards his forearm nervously, "about yesterday, I'm sorry I was so quick to bring Roy up. I could've been saying my last words to you, but thankfully I wasn't, and instead of rejoicing and showing you just how much you mean to me, I tried to force you into forgiving the person who put you in this hospital bed. I was just so confused and couldn't comprehend why all of this was happening…I didn't know what to do or say…"
Instead of replying, Robin simply just stared into the crevices and wrinkles of her sad face. Seeing her look so broken and guilty hurt him more than a bullet to his back, and he knew it was truly all his fault, despite the fact that she believed it to be hers. Love had made him more selfish than he'd already been and caused him to ruin the happy, loving union Raven and Speedy both deserved. They had both been through so much and in the end only had each other, but each other was all they needed. And he took that from both of them.
And because of that, he didn't know what to say. Raven sighed desperately, believing that he didn't reply because he was still slightly upset. She pulled the arm chair from the corner next to his bed and rested her hand beside his. Robin wasted no time intertwining their long fingers together like overgrown ivy and squeezing her hand with all the strength he had left in him.
Raven noticed the worn out look on his face and wanted to kiss his forehead like a mother nurturing her sick child, but was still too scared of fully loving him. And Robin knew exactly why. He wasn't oblivious to the fact that she was still wearing her lavish, amethyst engagement ring on her left ring finger; it was stabbing his palm the entire time he held her hand. There was no way she could really love him until she let go of Speedy.
"I just want you to know," she started with a mumble once again, "everything I said yesterday about leaning more towards you is still true. Even more so now actually."
Robin only nodded to show his understanding. "I can't help but think that this was our destiny all along," she chuckled sadly. "You didn't realize you were in love with me until I was ready to give Speedy a chance. And I didn't realize just how much I really did love you until I was willing to break his heart just to be with you. It almost makes our love sound wrong."
"Just think," Robin finally said, his dark eyebrows furrowing in anger at himself, "if I had realized I was in love with you just two weeks before, all of this hurt and pain could've been avoided. I had to be so stupid and blind."
Raven ran a slender finger along the masculinity of his jawline. "Yeah, but sometimes," she paused, causing him to turn his face to meet his remorseful eyes with her consoling ones. "Sometimes you have to be without something just to realize how much you truly need it in your life."
The boy's brilliant blue pupils lit up at her remark. He'd been so afraid of coming back to the country only to get rejected by the girl he'd yearned for, for years. He had no idea he'd have to go through such drastic measures just to get her back, but it was all worth it just to feel the bliss he experienced when he realized she really was still in love with him.
"Ahem," he cleared his throat, making the girl raise a confused eyebrow, "I, um, talked to Bruce about Speedy. He's going to try his best to convince the district attorney to drop the charges, and if she doesn't, he assured me he'd get Speedy the best lawyer in all of this area."
"Really?" Raven asked cautiously, afraid that it was just his meds talking. Robin nodded his head up and down and Raven quickly wrapped her arms around his neck in return, making sure she didn't hurt him in the process. "Thank you so much, Rich. I don't know how to repay you."
Robin squinted his eyes at her last statement. "Raven, your happiness is all the payment I need. I know how much Roy and Lian mean to you, and if him being in prison hurts you, it hurts me. Not to mention, it is sort of my fault after all. I stole his girl."
Raven rolled her eyes at his boastfulness but was nevertheless grateful for his kind gesture. So, to thank him, she gave him a short but sweet kiss on the lips. It was simple but it told him exactly how she felt and what she was thinking.
Suddenly, a cold gust of wind rushed into the room, but instead of quickly separating from each other like they had so many times before, they continued to hold onto the other's touch. Turns out it was just the nurse making his way into the room.
"Sorry to ruin the moment, but Mr. Grayson needs to take his meds and get some rest," he told them in a fatherly manner.
"Aww, do I have to?" Robin growled lowly. The man in the blue scrubs just nodded and pulled out a bottle of pills.
Raven sighed. She didn't really want to leave, but she wanted him to get better as soon as possible. "I think I'm going to try to find Speedy. We could really use a talk."
Robin nodded before popping a handful of drugs in his mouth. "Okay, I guess I'll just continue to go through these suspect files until I doze off. Promise you'll come back later?"
Raven smirked at the childlike plea. "Promise." And with that, she turned to leave him be.
But before she could get all the way out the room, he called out to her, "Rae?"
"Yes, Robin?" she uttered anxiously. His face was suddenly stern and serious which made her shake in her boots.
"No matter what happens between you two," he began, then continued with a deep breath, "I love you."
Raven's face lit up with the biggest grin she'd smiled in what seemed like months, which still wasn't very big but it was big enough for the both of them. "I love you too, Boy Blunder."
"May I help you, Miss," the sturdy, police department clerk greeted Raven when she walked through the heavy, glass doors.
"Yes, can you tell me if Roy Harper is still being held here? Please, I really need to talk to him." Her nerves were throbbing in her head and it was probably obvious to everyone around.
The lady eyed her funnily but said, "Let me check for you."
However, her heart was beating a hundred times faster. She was so afraid of how Roy would react to seeing her. Wally admitting just how angry the boy had been after finding out about her infidelity made her wonder if he could ever hate her. Now, she had this crazy idea that he loathed every part of her when the truth was he probably hated himself for getting in this predicament.
Since the department was only a few blocks from the hospital and she wasn't exactly mentally prepared to face Roy yet, she had walked to her destination. The whole way there she had contemplated everything she wanted to tell the tall redhead, but nothing seemed good enough. None of the apologies made her seem worthy of forgiveness. And even if she had thought of something decent to say, she was sure she'd forget it the moment his eyes were on her.
"Follow me, Ma'am," the clerk knocked her out of her thoughts, "he's in one of the holding cells. The guard said you can just talk to him through the bars."
Raven followed the short, stubby lady down a long hall into another highly secured room that was lined with about three cells. In the first cell was a group of drunk teenage boys that had probably been brought in for underage drinking. In the next cell was a man with tattoos on every visible part of his body, including his face, and noticeable, healed bullet and stab wounds. Raven figured he'd been in that spot many times before.
Finally, they approached Speedy's cell. Raven's eyes instantly watered at the sight. In the corner was a man obviously high on drugs. He was repeatedly searching his pocket probably for his next fix and going through a nasty looking withdrawal.
On the other side of the room was a cot with a barely-there mattress and on top of the old, springy mattress was the ex-drug addict that Raven had nursed back to health and fallen in love with just a few years back. He was staring at the ceiling, probably trying his best to imagine that he was somewhere else. And worst of all, Raven couldn't help but notice the slow, small tears that were filling up his ears as he became more and more lost in his own world. He was clearly pained beyond measure.
"Get up, Harper. You have a visitor," one of the guards called as him and the clerk left Raven alone in front of the cold, metal bars.
It took a minute, but slowly Speedy replied, "If it's not my lawyer, I don't want to see them."
"I-it's me, Roy," Raven forced before anyone could ask her to leave.
The boy immediately shot up with a look of confusion on his handsome face. "Raven," he whispered to himself, "what are you doing here?"
"I came to apologize," she admitted with a sigh.
Unsurprisingly, his response was cold and harsh as he made his way towards her. "Honestly, Raven, I don't even want to hear your voice right now. I don't even want to see your face."
Raven unintentionally stepped back as he grabbed onto the bars and stared right down at her. "Look just hear me out."
"Why are you here?" he spat before she could say another thing. "You obviously don't care about me. And I'm finding it really hard to believe you ever did."
Raven grimaced in astonishment. "Speedy, you know how I feel about you. I've been in love with you for three years, and me cheating on you doesn't change that."
"Whatever, Raven," he breathed and spun around to walk back to his uncomfortable bed.
Raven rolled her eyes angrily. She didn't even know why she was trying. "What is your problem?" she screamed lowly. "You're the one who told me you loved me yesterday."
That made the boy stop in his place and immediately run back towards her. "You're right, and I still love you, Raven," he admitted, causing her eyes to grow big. "But I'll never be able to forgive you. You'll find out one day that betrayal is a bitch. Do you know how badly this is going to crush my daughter? Do you realize all of the pain you've caused all of our friends, including Robin? It's all on you."
Raven was speechless as her eyes swelled up with water. She stared into the angry amber eyes that had only ever looked at her with love and passion before. "Take it back."
Speedy pierced her violet eyes back and softened up when he realized just how guilty he probably was making her feel. "I'm sorry, Raven, but I just don't know how to move past this."
Raven nodded and sucked up the threatening tears. "If the opportunity ever presented itself again, you don't think you'd give me another chance?" she asked out of curiosity.
"No," he quickly retorted, but then decided to be honest with himself, "I mean, I don't know, Gem. My mind's saying no but my heart is saying yes. But who are you fooling? I think we both know you're going to be with Robin for the rest of your life."
"What makes you think that?" she questioned sincerely. That was something she never expected to hear out of his mouth.
Speedy exhaled a miserable sigh. "You're really going to make me answer that?" he spat again, but proceeded to answer. "You guys were always meant to be together, but I tried to change that. I convinced you to fall in love with me and forget about him. Yet, I was truly foolish to think you'd ever fall out of love with him."
"That's not true, Roy," Raven assured him and touched his shoulder through the silver bars.
"It is," he said with the shake of his head, "and I'm sorry for that. But I don't regret it one bit. You taught me how to love, but you also taught me that it brings nothing but pain."
"Don't try to change my mind," he commanded and moved his shoulder away from her hand. "I'll never love another woman the way I love you. I'm beginning to think that maybe I should've never stopped being a manwhore. And, now, I'm going to have blue balls for the rest of my life in prison."
Raven couldn't help but smile at his silly statement which reminded her of the other reason she'd come to visit him. "Actually, Robin said that he talked to Bruce about getting the DA to drop the charges, but if she doesn't oblige, they'll make sure you'll have the best lawyer to help you fight the case. None of us want to see you suffer anymore."
"Keep your help," he said without even thinking about the offer. "I don't want to feel like I owe him anything. Besides, Wally's bailing me out today and we're going to find the best lawyer to get me out of this mess."
"You two just go on and live your lives happily ever after," he dragged sarcastically. "I'll just spend mine building my trust again."
"It's over, Raven," he interrupted once more, folding his arms tightly against his muscular chest.
But this time she didn't try again. Instead, she just looked down at the expensive ring on her left hand. For a minute, she toyed with it, moving it up and down along the length of her finger. Speedy watched as she did that, his heart suddenly filling itself up with misery once again as she pondered what she'd do next.
"King me, baby!" An overly-confident, recovering drug addict cheered as he stacked a black checker on top of another.
Him and his new, violet-haired girlfriend were playing an intense game of checkers during visitation hours at his rehab center. She had been visiting him every weekend for the last two months and each time she came they occupied themselves with games, long walks, or just deep conversations about his health and random nothings. Over the course of those two months, they had fallen deeply in love with everything about the other, even though one of them had yet to admit it.
"Don't get too excited," Raven bragged dryly and jumped his king with her red checker.
"Dangnabbit," Speedy mumbled to himself as he stared at the board in disbelief. "I think you cheated, Gem."
Raven smirked and crossed her arms over her full chest. "Me, cheat? Never."
"Why are you quiet ones always so sneaky?" the boy wondered playfully and moved his next piece further away from hers.
"Why are you good-looking guys always so cocky?" she replied.
Speedy's ears perked like a listening dog. "Did you just call me good-looking or am I hearing things?"
Raven let out a small, uncharacteristic giggle causing Speedy's smile to grow even larger. She was truly changing into a more open, emotional person, and it was all thanks to him.
"Roy Harper," she called teasingly, "I think I love you."
Speedy's jaw just about separated from his face. "You mean like in love?"
Raven chuckled again at his shock. "Yes, like in love."
Before she knew it, he was standing on top of the table, stomping and kicking checker pieces everywhere. "Did you guys just hear that? She loves me! Raven Roth is in love with me."
All of the patients and counselors around whistled and cheered for them, causing Raven to sink in her chair from embarrassment. "Why…" she groaned.
Speedy hopped down from the table and immediately started bombarding her with questions, "If we ever have a kid together, can we name it Arrow? And if we have twins we can name them Beau and Arrow. Oh, and for triplets, how about Archer, Beau, and Arrow?" he teased with a permanent, one-hundred-watt smile on his face.
Raven blew air and deadpanned, "I think it's safe to say I hate you just as much as I love you."
Finally, Raven pulled herself back into reality while at the same time pulling the ring off her finger. She reached it towards Roy who was standing there with his large, disappointed eyes pointed directly at her somber face. He couldn't believe she was giving him back the ring that'd meant so much to them just days before. It hurt every fiber in his body to think about it.
"If it's really over, I think you should keep it," she remarked after he finally took it from her grasp. "Maybe it'll remind you of all the good memories we created over the last few years."
Speedy stared at the beautiful, glistening amethyst stone in the dim jailhouse light and held the ring close to his heart with his eyelids firmly shut together. "Yeah, maybe so."
Raven watched him slowly fall apart in front of her and decided she had to leave before she broke down as well. Her decision had been made, and she had to stand her ground or else things would just get even worse. Next thing she knew she'd be cheating on Robin with Speedy, and she couldn't let that happen.
She turned to walk away and heard him let out a wounded exhalation. The guilt hit her like a ton of bricks.
Suddenly, a single tear rolled down her round cheek and onto the dirty, hard floor of the precinct. She quickly spun back around and ran at full force to the cell. She got as close as possible so that her body was pressed up against the bar against his and pulled him into a constricted hug. Then, something inside compelled her to pucker her lips and give him one last bittersweet kiss. His eyes doubled in shock as she pulled away breathless, but he was speechless.
"Thank you, Roy Harper, for teaching me to how to feel," she mumbled loudly enough for him to hear. "Without you, I wouldn't know how to let go and let be. And for that, I'll be forever grateful."
Speedy smirked and touched his warm lips. "Honestly, it was my pleasure."
Raven allowed a small smile to fill her eyes and turned to walk away once again. This time she succeeded. But it was by far the gloomiest walk she'd ever taken.
Just moments later, Raven sat on a bench next to the bus stop near the station. The rain had decided to pour down in heaps again and she no longer had the heart or the energy to walk back to the hospital. She hoped by now Robin would be up and alert and could actually entertain her while she stayed by his side.
Just the thought of being next to Robin and holding his hand was making her feel better about the situation with Roy. She had high hopes that they would all eventually find happiness and one day be able to be friends again. It was just a matter of time.
Splat! A car suddenly pulled up on the side of the road, splashing water and soaking her more than she already was. She was about to stomp over to the inconsiderate bastard and knock some sense into him until she realized what kind of car it was. It was a black, Lamborghini Gallardo that was very similar to the one X drove.
"Aww crap," Raven said to herself as the passenger window slowly moved downwards.
"Need a lift?" X's mysterious voice called from the driver's seat.
Raven sighed and looked around for the bus. It'd probably be minutes before the next one came, and she had to admit she was tired of being drenched in rain in the freezing temperatures. Plus, he was the one who said maybe she should let him take her for a ride sometime, so this was the perfect chance.
Without answering, she opened the door and took a seat in the warm vehicle. She quickly buckled up her seatbelt as she was sure she'd need it. Then, she looked over to greet X only to find that he was already staring at her with a stupid, boyish smirk on his face.
"What?" she growled through gritted teeth.
He chuckled and pulled out into oncoming traffic. Right in front of a fast approaching, eighteen-wheeler. If it wasn't for her seatbelt, Raven would've fell face first into the dashboard.
"I didn't take you for a bus person," he said over the loud bass of his music.
"My car's at the hospital. I just went for a walk and got caught in the rain," she retorted in defense.
"Good thing I found you then." He smirked, then shot another glance at her. "So, I take it your heading to the hospital?"
"Yes," she uttered.
"I'm assuming whatever is at the hospital is the reason you haven't been to work in two days."
"Oh shit!" Raven exclaimed with dread in her voice. With all that was going on, she'd totally forgotten about her small job at the bookstore. She couldn't believe she hadn't realized something was missing out of her day.
"No worries. Renee's already hiring more people."
Raven facepalmed herself. Renee was probably so disappointed in her. All she ever seemed to do was fail people.
Seconds later, she removed her palm from her eyes only to find X about to run a red light. His face was deep into a message on his phone and his foot was pressing hard on the accelerator. Raven was almost certain they were about to die in a collision.
"X, red light!" she finally found the nerves to shout.
The boy looked up, dropped his phone, and slammed hard on his breaks, causing the car to drift to the side. Raven felt everything in his backseat crashing against her seat and onto the floor. Luckily, there were no other cars beside them. And just as soon as the car stopped, the light flashed green and X took off once more.
"Are you trying to kill us?!" she bellowed.
X tried to catch his frightened breath, "Sorry, I like to drive on the dangerous side."
"Just get me to the hospital alive," she barked and looked back at the things that had fallen onto the floor of his messy backseat. There were stacks of papers, Flakies wrappers, old books, and long receipts. But the thing that caught her eye the most was the pair of steel-toe boots that were sitting so effortlessly on the floor behind his seat. She reached to the back and picked up the long boot and inspected the soles. Sure enough, it was the same as the print of the footsteps her and Robin had discovered at the museum.
"Tired of your combat boots?" he teased and rubbed a hand through his parted, black hair. But Raven's eyes only focused on the platinum watch hanging around his boney wrist. The watch was the very same as the watch on the display of the jewelry store that Red X had robbed and destroyed.
"Oh my God," Raven whispered to herself. She couldn't believe what she was seeing; Robin was right all along. "It's you."
"Come again, Doll," X said casually and slowed to a stop at the next red light.
"It's you!" she roared and tried to open her door but it was locked. "And you've been right under my nose the whole time!" She pulled and pulled, but the door wouldn't budge. She searched around the dashboard and radio for a button but there was none that symbolized the locks. She looked at X with a fearful expression in her eyes but his face looked more confused than evil.
"What exactly are you talking about, Raven?" he asked with squinted, exotic eyes as he reached towards his side of the car to unlock the doors.
"You're Red X," she hissed and opened the door the very moment he came to another stop. Luckily, they were right around the corner from the hospital.
"Wait!" X screamed when she slammed the door. "You seriously think I could be Red X?"
Raven shook her head at what she figured was him trying to lure her back in. "I don't think, I know."
"Hmph," X chuckled in disbelief, "some friend."
But Raven paid him no mind. Instead she took off down the sidewalk and around the corner towards the hospital in the icy, pouring rain and she didn't stop until she reached the elevator that would take her to Robin's floor. Once she reached his floor, she scurried down the hall, trying her best to ignore all the crazy looks she was receiving.
"Robin!" she screamed the moment her foot touched the threshold of his door.
Robin's head shot up from the paperwork he had his nose stuck in and raised a worried eyebrow. "You okay, Raven?" Then, he smirked. "You're dripping wet."
"Robin, you were right from the jump," she said as she hurried over to him. "Xavier Sinclair is Red X."
Robin's face made a combination of expressions before he finally choked out, "Actually, Raven, after what happened yesterday and after going through my notes over twenty times, I'm pretty sure Red X is…Jason."
"Jason?" Raven questioned dumbly and fell back into the armchair that was still beside his bed. "Your brother, Jason?"
Robin sighed a defeated sigh, "Yeah," he mumbled and avoided ashamed eye contact with her. "I didn't know how to tell you yesterday but the stolen object they found on him was the amethyst gem that was missing from the jewelry store. I should've known then, but I really wanted to believe him when he said he found it."
"Oh my God," Raven whispered as she went into deep thought. There was no doubt that X definitely hated her now.
"He could've easily gotten a Flakies bar from Bruce's stash," Robin began to tell her just why he was sure the coldblooded thief was his adopted brother. "Not to mention, he was in juvie for breaking and entering into a high-security place. Plus, he admitted to me that he steals from people he sees doing wrong. He even once said he was a smooth criminal."
"Wow," Raven said dumfounded. She was in a serious state of shock. Even if it wasn't X, Red X still had been right there under their noses. "I can't believe Jason's Red X."
"I'm who?" A voice suddenly rang from the doorway. Both Raven and Robin's faces instantly twisted into an expression of panic, and the panic was warranted as the voice belonged to Jason himself.
But after the long week she was having, Raven wasn't for the bull. She was going to force him to admit to his crimes without hesitation if it was the last thing she did.
"You're Red X," she retorted after a while, standing out of her seat and crossing her arms to show that she was standing her ground no matter what.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," the teen said with his hands up in defense, "I may be a criminal but I'm not Red X."
"Robin told me how you found the amethyst gem that just so happened to be a part of the stolen goods in Red X's collection," the older woman sassed and stepped closer to the dark teen. "How do you explain that?"
"Aw, come on," he breathed, throwing his hands up. "I did find it. I can't believe you're accusing me." The whole time Robin sat in silence watching the scene horrifically unfolding in front of him.
Raven rolled her eyes at the teen's attempts for sympathy. "In that case, where'd you find it?"
Jason chuckled blankly and glanced at his older brother's worried blue eyes. "I come here to be a decent brother and check on Robin and I overhear you guys accusing me of being Red X. I'm out of here. For good."
And with that, he turned to storm out the door, but Raven's needy voice stopped him. "Wait, Jason," she called gently, suddenly wondering if Robin was wrong once again, "if you really did find it, where'd you find it? We could really use the hint."
"Just let him go, Raven," Robin finally commented causing Jason to shake his head in annoyance.
"No, Robin, you're the one who wants to solve this mystery, remember?" she deadpanned with her eyes in the back of her head.
To her surprise, Jason was actually willing to answer. "You really want to know?" Raven nodded up and down with uncertainty. "Robin's room."
The girl stood in silence for a moment before choking out a, "What?"
"I found it in Robin's room," he repeated more slowly with a straight face. "I was bored and alone at home one day, so I thought I'd go snooping around his room. I thought I'd hit the jackpot when I found a large keepsake box under his bed. When I first opened the box, all I found was old pictures of you guys and your friends and I'm guessing Robin's biological family. But under the pictures and old keepsakes were dazzling jewels and random pieces of jewelry that are worth a fortune. Under the jewels was an antique, amethyst and diamond encrusted crown and a ton of more ancient artifacts."
"Like I said I thought I'd hit the jackpot," he continued. "But what I'd really done was make myself an accessory to one of the hottest cases in the city. And now he's trying to frame me."
"Ro-Robin?" Raven stuttered almost inaudibly and turned to look at the injured boy in the bed behind her. But his face was filled with what looked like sincere confusion as he hunched a seemingly unknowing shoulder.
"I'm just saying, you've never seen Robin and Red X in the same room together," Jason added to his commentary.
"I've never seen you in the same room with him either, Smart Ass," Raven snapped. Her heart was beating at a ferocious speed and the only thing that would calm her down was Robin telling her that Jason was just messing with her head.
"But you've definitely never seen him and Robin together."
"Quiet," Raven spat and turned her body so that she was face to face with Robin. "Robin, please tell me it's not true. Just tell me he's lying so we can really solve this."
Robin stared into the violet eyes of the girl he was deeply in love with and felt tears forming in his own. Everything was just going so wrong. Every time he thought it was all good, something else happened to ruin it all.
He heaved a deep sigh and sent a deadly glare to his so-called brother and turned to Raven with a look of guilt. "I'm sorry, Raven," he whimpered, causing her to inch further and further away from him like he had cooties. "I thought I could kill two birds with one stone, you know. I thought if I staged a criminal act and then seemingly solved it before the police, I could convince Bruce that being a detective was my calling after all. Plus, it was a great opportunity to give you and me a good reason to hang out."
"I realize now that it was a huge mistake," he kept going. "I can't prove that I deserve to be a detective by being a criminal. And you and I would somehow have ended up together regardless of whether or not we solved a crime together. I was just so desperate to have the perfect life of my dreams. I don't know what I was thinking. Please tell me you'll forgive me, Raven."
But Raven was speechless. Her breath was literally caught in her throat, and before she could completely comprehend everything that'd just taken place, she was brushing past Jason and into the streets of the outside world. She didn't know where she was going, but she knew she had to get as far away from Steel City as her body would allow. There was no going back. There was no joy or positivity to be found in this whole situation. Speedy was right: betrayal was a bitch.
She just couldn't believe it. And she didn't want to. The love of her life had stabbed her right in the back with his self-seeking antics. Her best friend had tricked and deceived her after she'd given up her happy life for hopes of one with him.
It took her realizing all of that for her to grasp the truth: Robin was not just a criminal and a liar. Robin was Red X.
A/N: You guys think so much like me that I honestly don't know if that was a shocking revelation. Probably not lol especially since on the show he was technically the first Red X. Anyway, I hope that was decent, and I think the next chapter will be the last :( I originally intended for it to have a sad tone to it, but do you guys think I should make it a hopeful one?
: Yeah, I didn't really know how any other suspect would fit in. Unless, maybe it was Wally, but then for some reason in my head, it wouldn't have hurt as much lol. And you're right. The whole "crime of passion" thing is some bull. No matter how hurt you are, if you pull the trigger, you still knew what you were doing. You really put a lot of thought into your reviews and it means a lot :) I'm starting to think maybe I should watch soaps, too, because apparently I have a flair for the dramatic lol.
Mee: Hey :) Ik poor Lian, and it seems as if you were more on the Rae/Speedy train, so I hope this hasn't ruined the story for you lol. I almost wanted to somehow make them work, but then it wouldn't be realistic. I don't think I'd be necessarily mad at Speedy either simply because they sort of provoked him, but he kinda went too far. And Raven's just a confused, young woman who needs to get her mind and her emotions together lol. Btw your reviews still make me laugh :) Thanks!
argent82: Yes, in my heart, Robin and Raven fit together the best. I kind of intentionally played that whole Robin and Raven thing up again in these last couple chapters just so the betrayal at the end could be that much worse. Idk if it worked, but I tried lol. Thanks for reading :)
And thank you to everyone else for reading as well 3